After we tried growing forage crops on our cultivation areas we decided it would be worth trying to establish a perennial pasture instead. We planted about 10 acres out of 20 acres as a test two years ago using Rhodes grass, Creeping Blue grass, Digiteria and Wynn Cassia. It took a few months for that pasture to start growing and in the meantime we were worried that we had wasted a lot of time and money, but gradually the grass came up and got thicker and now we have a pretty good coverage. The Rhodes and the Blue grass are creeping, so they start to fill in the gaps.
We attended a presentation by Joel Salatin in which he showed a series of photos from his farm and used them to demonstrate and describe the farming methods that he uses. At Polyface, they farm beef cattle, pigs and chickens/turkeys. They have researched and tried to mimic natural processes to manage the animals without the need for fertilisers, chemical treatments or ploughing the fields. This post is about how we can use similar techniques on our farm.
The book Holistic Management: A New Framework for Decision Making (affiliate link) sets out a guide to developing a holistic goal for your farm or business.
The more you spend time gardening or farming, the more you start to think about soil, and improving your soil and growing more plants. Here’s a few things that I think you should know about your soil to get you started.
When we first bought our new property in 2012 we also quickly bought a new tractor so that we could start working on the farm. We got a New Holland TT75. Mostly because we knew a friend had the same model (although on a very different farm) and because there was a good finance deal at the time (2% interest over 3 years).
When we have cattle in our stock yards set up water troughs in the yard, which we fill from a nearby dam using a firefighter pump. This is how we set up the pump suction and discharge when pumping from a farm dam to a water trough.
Find us on Instagram